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Where I am located, I am required to give my employer written notice of my resignation 2 weeks prior to my declared termination date.

However, I have a great relationship with my boss and I have an extremely large amount of responsibilities (ie the "bus factor" is very strong with me), I'm not sure if 2 weeks would be enough time for him to hire someone else and have me pass off all of my work. We work on projects pretty independently, so it would be a huge disruption in the project deadlines to have to hire someone and get them up to speed on the project and take over. It would make me feel a bit guilty only giving 2 weeks notice even though that's the legal requirement.

Is it "bad practice" to give notice longer than legally required? The obvious upside is that I can let my employer know that I care about the company and ensure I don't burn any bridges on the way out. The downsides is that this might be superfluous and perhaps my "bus factor" is less than I thought. Companies always find a way to bounce back after someone important leaves. The other (probably less likely) reason is maybe my boss doesn't take is very well and now my last x number of weeks are less enjoyable, or I even get terminated early.

Can anyone shed some light on this? Should I just stick to the legal requirement and try and not feel guilty about it?

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    One thought - if Boss wants you to stay longer, they'll say something like "Could you stay an extra week" or "Could you stay until the 8th?" Maybe better in your official resignation to just stick to the process. Another thought: if you're moving to another job, it's never good to keep them waiting. – Fattie Feb 22 at 10:56
  • I don't know if I would call it "bad practice" to be more generous than the law requires. That said, it is taking a risk - that they might just ask you to leave before you were planning to, or that they might use the extra time to undermine you by giving you "suicide mission" style projects doomed to fail, or who knows what else. You know your bosses and your workplace better than us. If you're really confident and/or have a back up plan in case of screwage, then follow your conscience, by all means. – Steve-O Feb 22 at 14:36
  • @Brad - 2 weeks isn't enough time to hire somebody, think it from your perspective, a company can't even hire you unless they wait 2 weeks. So how can your boss replace you in that amount of time, unless they hire somebody who isn't currently employed? – Donald Feb 22 at 16:53
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I can think of dozens of reasons not to give an extended notice.

You've listed some of them above, he could become nasty and make your remaining time difficult, he could do a number of things. You're also giving him too much time to begin resenting you even if it doesn't turn nasty in the beginning.

As your boss he has failed to do the right thing and set a proper notice period (it goes both ways) probably for his own bottom line, and he has ignored the bus factor. This will be a lesson learnt for him to not get stingy with notice periods and set a longer one for the next employee.

Move on, you're doing him a favor.

PS: If they're THAT desperate to sort things out after you leave they can always hire you as a consultant later on and you can charge by the hour.

  • I agree that the author should only put in the <traditional notice period or legally required amount of time>, and offer at a premium an option to hire them separate from their current contract. – Donald Feb 22 at 16:51
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I don't think there is an hard and fast rule for this. It basically boils down on how well you know your company and the people working for it, and how covered you are for the next job. If you haven't signed anything yet, don't. Never let the company know you are leaving until you are ready to leave.

If you have this covered, then it's all an issue about trust. You've worked with them for some time, you should know what kind of reactions you should expect. If you aren't sure, again, stick with the legal period. If you are sure, then this might make sense (and if it works it will give you goodwill from somebody in the industry, which is always beneficial), but you have to be sure.

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Anecdotally, I found (with a very good relationship with all colleagues and supervisors) it to be a wonderful idea.

  • It allowed me to leave with a sense of good faith: I explained that I had no complaint about the organization that I was in, and would strive to make my departure as positive for them as possible;

  • It allowed them time to ask questions what they could do better;

  • It was easier to take 'an afternoon off' or so to take care of my own personal transition - if you're moving, or need to meet with a new employer, handle HR paperwork, etc. - because if you have only two weeks left and you need to take a day off, that hurts them. If you have a month notice, and need to do the same, it eases the transition.

My notice required was 30 days, I gave 60, and needed every second of that extra time, but I was moving overseas.

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